Genre: YA, Contemporary
Published: May, 2010 by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Rating: Blew me away. 5 birdies.
Such an adorable coming of age, grieving, healing, adventure, romance book! It was light, but serious. And I could totally and completely empathize.
My first Morgan Matson book! Can I just say, I’m really happy that Kayla from The Thousand lives recommended this? Such an adorable coming of age, grieving, healing, adventure, romance book! It was light, but serious. And I could totally and completely empathize.
The book starts at the beginning of a road trip with college boy Roger, after a horrible accident splits Amy’s family apart. I honestly had no idea what to expect going into this book. I first thought it would just be a cute, fun romance. But oh, was I wrong. It was so much more and loved it all the same.
I’ll begin by saying that I was surprised at how much I could not only sympathize, but empathize. I’m lucky in that I have never had a close family member or friend pass away. Only a few pets, which I suppose is still traumatic. So whenever I read a book that deals with extreme grieving, I get a little wary. Because I almost never, ever quite understand. I can imagine it, but without ever having gone through it myself, I never fully understand what people must be going through.
This book was different though. I found myself crying uncontrollably and I felt like I understood Amy. The way in which she acted was totally believable. I feel like I might act in a similar manner if this happened to me.
Matson, what have you done to me?
I was so surprised by this. Especially since the rest of the book was so distracting. Like, I want to travel to America just so I can go on a road trip. I just don’t think it would be as fun in Aus.
Along with Amy, I really liked Roger’s character. I didn’t understand him as much, but he still felt real to me. Kind of like that elusive, but laid back, down to earth boy. Dreamy.
And I loved how little a role the romance played in the end. I was worried that it would be one of those cases where “love healed me”. But no – Roger certainly helped, yes, but it was not because they had some epic romance going on. He was just supportive. The detour is what really aided in Amy’s healing. All the people she met, places she had seen, state motto’s she recorded. She discovered life again through the simple things.
And I adored the scrapbooking parts between chapters. Such a cute addition!
SPOILER – highligt paragraph to view.
I just wanted to add that the “accident” really resonated with me. Ever since I started driving, I have this fear of lights. I hate them. I hate coming up to a green one when it changes because I’m so bad at judging distances and if I have enough time to stop. I’m scared of being the one that runs the light. And I’m scared of leaving the intersection and colliding with someone else running the light. Maybe that’s one reason why I cried so hard. It was like, my worst fear come to life.
My emotions are so mushy about this book. There isn’t really anything I can fault. I loved the characters and concept, and for the first time, can emphasize with grief. And I now have a strong desire to road trip it. In America.
Thanks a lot Morgan Matson </3 >.< ❤